prairie and meadow plantings, succession and extra, with neil diboll

INTEREST AND AWARENESS round native crops has been trending lately, and it makes them really feel nearly new. However after all natives are the unique crops of an space, and even in sure specialty corners of the nursery business, they’ve been round far longer than they’ve been making headlines.

Simply ask at present’s visitor, Neil Diboll, who has operated Prairie Nursery in Wisconsin for 42 years, since lengthy earlier than phrases like “pollinator backyard” had been modern. He’ll share a few of his favourite species you could not know, and in addition some recommendation on what to anticipate over time managing meadow- and prairie-style plantings, in case you’re amongst these gardeners contemplating transitioning a part of your garden, as an example.

Neil has been president and consulting ecologist for Prairie Nursery in Westfield, Wisc., since 1982. Final 12 months, in collaboration with backyard designer and horticulturist Hilary Cox, he printed “The Gardener’s Information to Prairie Crops” (affiliate hyperlink), a complete information to utilizing prairie crops in gardens and bigger restorations. (Above, Culver’s root, Veronicastrum virginicum.)

Plus: Remark within the field close to the underside of the web page to enter to win a replica of the ebook.

Learn alongside as you take heed to the June 3, 2024 version of my public-radio present and podcast utilizing the participant beneath. You possibly can subscribe to all future editions on Apple Podcasts (iTunes) or Spotify (and browse my archive of podcasts right here).

speaking prairie crops, with neil diboll



Margaret Roach: I really like the ebook, Neil; it’s so critical, but in addition accessible. I don’t know for those who might be each issues on the identical time, however in some way it’s. So congratulations on that.

Neil Diboll: Thanks.

Margaret: So we did a latest “New York Occasions” backyard column collectively, however that wasn’t the primary time I met you. I met you 30-something years in the past once I was engaged on a ebook referred to as “The Pure Habitat Backyard” with Ken Druse, and we came around you and find out about all issues prairie from you. And again then, natives, you jogged my memory after we labored on the latest Occasions piece, had been extra more likely to be thought-about weeds than modern [laughter]. Sure?

Neil: Oh, sure, sure. Let’s simply say we had been slightly forward of the curve on this. So there was some fairly laborious years attempting to persuade individuals to make use of natives after they weren’t accustomed to understanding something about them.

Margaret: Yeah, we’ve come a good distance, however it feels in some way to me—I suppose as a result of I get loads of reader and listener questions—it feels to me like within the mainstream horticulture market, the analysis and improvement and advertising efforts have been actually to invent flashy new types of natives and promote, promote, promote them possibly greater than to teach the shoppers. And I do know you assume training is among the most necessary components, and I completely agree, listening to what persons are confounded by.

Neil: Yeah, training is super-important, particularly when 40 years in the past we had a product that no one knew about, and so we needed to educate. And to ensure that individuals to make use of your product correctly, to make use of these crops correctly, you could be certain they perceive them and the way they work together with one another.

So gardening with native prairie crops, individuals can create mini-ecosystems or plant communities, and that’s actually a radical idea as a result of now you’re not simply plunking in a plant like this or a plant like that, however you’re truly utilizing a local ecosystem as your mannequin for a backyard. And so relatively than recreating nature in our personal picture, if you’ll, we’re utilizing nature’s ideas to create a mannequin of nature. So relatively than a homocentric backyard, it’s a extra of a nature-centric mannequin. And that basically helps to tell gardeners so far as tips on how to use these crops and tips on how to use them to create low-maintenance, high-quality habitat.

Margaret: And simply to that time that you just’re making, I imply, after we long-time gardeners, even skilled, knowledgeable gardeners, we might purchase our hostas and our astilbe and our this and that. I simply talked about some shade crops, however I might point out solar crops, too. We put them down and 30 years later, they’re primarily in the identical place that they was [laughter]. You realize what I imply? We knew tips on how to handle them, we knew what they wanted. We knew when to chop them again. We type of knew the routine. They had been the acquainted palette. And these should not essentially.

And as you’re stating, we’re not simply plunking issues down, “Ooh, look, that’ll look fairly over right here, and it will look fairly over there,” we’re creating communities. And that’s an entire completely different mindset. So I get loads of questions from people who find themselves thrown off by, effectively, how do I make this all work? It’s slightly complicated.

Neil: And it helps to know your crops, and plenty of gardeners know their crops phenomenally effectively, however they’re simply completely different crops. And so what we’re seeing now’s that critical gardeners are attending to know native crops and making use of ecological ideas in how they design with them, how they handle them, and many others.

Particularly past simply using the crops as one thing aesthetic for human beings, however relatively as a habitat backyard, and what I name a three way partnership with nature, the place we meet nature midway. So we invite nature into our gardens. And relatively than spraying the whole lot to maintain the bugs off, we truly invite the bugs. As a result of in my backyard or my meadows, if I don’t have holes within the leaves of my crops, I’m an utter failure as a gardener as a result of I’m not supporting pollinators, I’m not supporting birds. The bugs that type the muse of the meals chain that feed the whole lot up, they’re going to eat my crops, and that’s why half the explanation why these crops are there, not only for me, however for all of us.

Margaret: Proper. Perfectionism shouldn’t be the aim [laughter]. And a static image, as I mentioned, I’ve hostas they usually’re nonetheless in the identical place the place I put them, as I mentioned, and I might have put them there 30 years in the past. And primarily, they’re greater, however they’re nonetheless there. However with let’s say… and possibly we must always inform the distinction between what’s a meadow versus a prairie planting as a result of that’s form of scorching now, is to make a meadow or transition some garden to meadow or to prairie. What’s the distinction out of your ecologist’s perspective?

Neil: Between meadow and prairie?

Margaret: Yeah.

Neil: Yeah. Usually within the lexicon, a meadow is seen as a extra cool-season grass, with grasses that come up early in spring, with varied wildflowers which can be extra predominant within the Jap a part of the US, normally a decrease profile. And a prairie is absolutely the outline of the Midwestern tall-grass prairie, which was encountered by early French explorers within the seventeenth, 18th centuries. And so they discovered these huge meadows with these tall grasses, and the phrase they used to explain them was prairie, which after all is the French phrase for meadow. However while you have a look at the way in which the phrases, the phrases are used now, meadow normally refers to a lower-growing profile, wildflower, meadow. And you may have a brief prairie, however a brief prairie continues to be 1 to five toes tall relying upon the constituents. So it’s nonetheless typically a taller plant neighborhood and typical of the Midwest relatively than the East.

Margaret: So I hear from individuals who transitioned an space to a meadow or a prairie, normally, once more, I’m within the East, so I hear from particularly loads of Easterners they usually say, meadow, “I’ve a brand new meadow backyard or no matter.” “I’m managing my meadow.” And within the third 12 months, I don’t see my black-eyed Susans. There’s no extra black-eyed Susans. And I beloved my black-eyed Susans,” Rudbeckia hirta [above]. Some members of that neighborhood that they thought was going to remain static, keep like a postcard picture eternally, and it’s evolving, proper? So uh-oh, succession [laughter].

Neil: Precisely, yeah. And let’s have a look at the 2 other ways you should use these crops. You possibly can create a prairie backyard with transplants, the place you’ll be able to choose long-lived crops if you would like it to be extra static. And that’s why in our ebook, we listed plants expectations. We don’t have any annuals in there, however now we have a couple of biennials, after all, with a life expectancy of two years. After which short-lived perennials three to 5 years, after which mid-successional perennials 5 to 10 years, after which later successional perennials 10 to twenty, after which lastly the Methuselah crops that reside 20, 30, 40, 50 years and longer.

Margaret: I beloved that Neil, I beloved it. I imply, I’ve by no means seen the life expectancy listed in any ebook about crops. And while you did that, and it was like “Baptisia, 20-plus years,” and I used to be like, proper, that factor is anchored within the floor. You realize what I imply? That’s a keeper that’s staying round. It settles down, and it’s there.

Neil: Effectively, I believe that is actually necessary for gardeners, so that they know what they’re getting. As you level out, what occurred to my Rudbeckia hirta? Effectively, it’s a biennial, and naturally you’re referring to a seed combine the place being a biennial, it’s simply fairly dominant in a second 12 months, and it’d grasp on for one more couple of years, however by the fifth or sixth 12 months, it’s just about gone due to, as you identified, ecological succession.

And that is actually necessary for individuals to know ecological succession, whereby while you seed onto open floor, normally the primary 12 months it’s all weeds, which you didn’t plant. They’re simply dormant seeds within the soil, and also you management them by conserving the whole lot mowed again, normally to about 6 inches within the first rising season.

After which you’ve gotten biennials that present up in a second 12 months, just like the black-eyed Susan and weedy biennials. And oftentimes you’ll should mow these within the second 12 months. After which the third 12 months, the extra quickly maturing perennials of the prairie flowers and grasses begin to present up. And by the fifth 12 months, it’s just about a prairie, if the whole lot’s going in keeping with plan.

After which what’s attention-grabbing is the precise variety of complete variety of prairie crops normally peaks round 12 months 12 or 15. After which it begins to drop barely because the early successional and mid-successional perennials give method to these longer-lived crops that reside 10 to 20-plus years.

So it’s type of disappointing generally while you see a few of your favourite crops possibly going by the wayside. However with disturbance… and that is actually necessary, and disturbance is available in many varieties. There’s ripping the bottom up, there’s animal exercise, however the one we normally use is managed burning.

With managed burning, you’ll be able to type of set succession again and preserve what we name gap-phase succession the place you’ve gotten open soil the place a few of these different species that may be shorter-lived, can recede and proceed to keep up as a lot variety as potential. So burning is absolutely an necessary facet of this. After all, lots of people can’t burn or don’t wish to burn. It’s truly very straightforward to burn for those who arrange your panorama accurately. And it’s actually loads of enjoyable as .

Margaret: There’s an entire part in your ebook about it, and once I first met you, you couldn’t wait to carry me and Ken Druse to your house the place you had been making a prairie. You had a younger prairie backyard in your entrance yard, I believe, and also you wished to indicate us a managed burn. And so once more, you instruct tips on how to do it within the ebook.

Effectively, I really like that you just mentioned that we might use a few of these crops as form of specimens. Lets say, “I’m going to make a mattress of those prairie crops, not a neighborhood.” So we might do this and management it extra, however when it’s extra like a meadow or a prairie, the succession goes to take maintain and so forth.

Neil: And while you use seeds, it’s going to be an evolutionary course of. However after all, we wish to have these early-successional, mid-successional species. So now we have curiosity in 12 months 3, 5, 7, 10, 15, 20, and on, however it type of reaches extra of a stasis after about 15 years or so. Nevertheless it’s not unhealthy. You continue to have plenty of flowers and delightful grasses, so there’s just a few species that will fall by the wayside over an prolonged time frame.

Margaret: And also you simply mentioned grasses. And that’s an necessary element as a result of simply selecting an entire lot of flowers, loads of forbs, shouldn’t be going to do it, shouldn’t be going to carry all of it collectively and create that neighborhood, as a result of these had been crops which can be accustomed to having partnerships with grasses.

Neil: Sure. And prairies are grasslands, meadows are grasslands, and so you actually can’t have one with out the grass, and those that have tried to plant simply wildflowers. And it may be carried out, however it’s slightly trickier for a variety of causes. Primary, it’s the fibrous roots of the grasses that assist to discourage weeds, as a result of they don’t permit any open soil on the floor of the bottom. And in order that’s the place most weeds get established. There are all the time going to be weeds that may blow in and trigger issues, however you’ll tremendously scale back that hazard by having enough amount of grass in your meadow or backyard. So that they’re actually type of your weeders. Like I say, make the crops do the give you the results you want. I don’t wish to go on the market and weed. I’m going to design this backyard or design this prairie seed combine so it’s going to have enough grass in it to maintain weeds out as finest as potential.

And in addition, for those who’re going to burn a prairie, flower sticks, previous flower sticks don’t burn. You want what we name wonderful gasoline—grass—with a purpose to carry a hearth. So for those who don’t have grass in your prairie, it principally gained’t burn. And then you definitely lose that nice administration choice for conserving it very contemporary and new and looking out good and conserving out weeds and bushes and shrubs, as a result of hearth is absolutely one of the simplest ways to maintain out invaders, most invaders. And persons are scared of fireplace. Effectively, truly on our web site, I’ve an article below assets and guides, it’s referred to as “The best way to Burn Your Prairie Safely,” and there’s so many tips about how to do that.

So I imply, it’s nearly inconceivable to lose it for those who do it proper. And one actually easy trick is simply earlier than you burn it, simply reduce the whole lot down and all of the gasoline is on the bottom. As a substitute of getting massive flames, it’s simply creeping alongside the bottom. And so it’s so easy. It’s very easy.

Margaret: I’m sorry that the home wren, by the way in which, exterior my window—despite the fact that I’ve closed the window, the home wren is insistent on being on this program at present, so you’ll be able to hear him screaming.

Neil: Oh, yeah, that’s good. It’s good to have a companion on the present.

Margaret: [Laughter.] Slightly bossy creature. Yeah. So we had been speaking about making this residing mulch in a way by having the element of grasses with the wildflowers, the forbs, and that it makes it extra weed-resistant. The opposite query I get requested lots is when weeds do come by means of, particularly within the early years that I don’t need, ought to I pull them out as a result of then that will open up one other area within the soil? Ought to I pull them out and attempt to do the least opening of soil potential or put one thing on it, like a chunk of cardboard or no matter? Is there any weeding recommendation in any respect for these type of communities?

Neil: Yeah, as soon as once more, you’re speaking a few seeded meadow, seeded prairie, proper?

Margaret: Possibly, yeah.

Neil: O.Ok. Effectively, for those who have a look at it, you need to have a look at it strategically, and you could know your weeds. In actual fact, once I first began doing this again in 1977, I used to be plantings that somebody had carried out on the college the place I went to high school, and it was a really new planting so all I discovered had been weeds. So I needed to study my weeds first, which truly was very useful.

As a result of for those who have a look at weeds, you have a look at them because the species that can trigger issues in a grassland, you’ve gotten annuals, which present up largely within the first 12 months and the second 12 months as effectively. Then you’ve gotten biennials. Now we’re speaking about herbaceous crops, annuals and biennials. After which you’ve gotten perennial grasses, and you’ve got perennial rhizomatous grasses and perennial non-rhizomatous grasses. Then you’ve gotten perennial broadleaf weeds, and people are additionally divided into rhizomatous and non-rhizomatous, with the rhizomatous species being the actual downside kids, these are those that creep far and wide. Issues like Canada thistle and subject bindweed and horse nettle. These are actual, actual issues, and also you wish to get them out as quickly as you probably can. Crown vetch, oh, what a horrible plant.

Margaret: We now have mugwort, and I do know your recommendation for mugwort.

Neil: Oh, mugwort is like, oh, good luck with that.

Margaret: Relocate. Relocate [laughter].

Neil: Yeah, relocate. Recalibrate, sure. It’s so troublesome after you have a longtime inhabitants of it.

Or what you are able to do is you’ll be able to kill all of it off. After which right here’s slightly trick. You probably have a long-term downside with the seed financial institution, you’ll be able to kill the whole lot off with whichever methodology you wish to use, whether or not it’s smothering or repeated tilling or herbicide or no matter, till there’s completely none of that perennial weed left and none across the edges the place it may possibly creep in. After which you’ll be able to put 3 inches of contemporary, clear, topsoil over that which can bury the weed seed financial institution, after which you’ll be able to seed or plant your crops into that contemporary soil, assuming that it doesn’t have some other problematic weeds. So this works on a small space, it’s not going to work on a bigger space.

However when you’ve gotten an issue web site with a longterm historical past of actually nasty, thuggish weeds, that is the way you overcome them, by fully eliminating the weeds after which placing 3 inches of fine, clear topsoil over that, that won’t have weed seeds. However for those who have a look at this, you could know who you’re up in opposition to. So so far as pulling weeds within the first 12 months of a seeded prairie, you by no means pull weeds, as a result of while you pull the weeds, you undoubtedly, invariably carry up clumps of soil and there go your prairie seedlings with it. And also you would possibly as effectively go in there and spray it with Roundup. That’s why we preserve the whole lot mowed to six inches, as a result of few, if any of these prairie seedlings are going to develop greater than 6 inches within the first 12 months.

Within the second 12 months, if now we have downside weeds with biennials like burdock, candy clovers, wild parsnip, loads of these guys can actually be an issue. So proper after they end blooming, we reduce them all the way down to 12 inches, which then stops the seed formation course of.

Margaret: Proper, O.Ok.

Neil: And kills the crops apart from Queen Anne’s lace, which is an indeterminate bloomer and would require fixed slicing again of the flowers. Then within the third 12 months…

Margaret: I used to be going to say strategic relying on what plant you’re up in opposition to, you’ve gotten a method. Yeah.

Neil: Precisely. And that info is within the ebook, “The Gardener’s Information to Prairie Crops.” It’s additionally on our web site. So there’s plenty of assets right here the place individuals can get to know these crops and what to do. However once more, you need to know who you’re up in opposition to and know tips on how to strategically management them.

Margaret: Proper, perceive its life historical past and so forth. Yeah.

Neil: Yeah, precisely.

Margaret: So after we did the Occasions story, we talked about how despite the fact that everybody just about coast to coast is aware of purple coneflower, Echinacea purpurea, which by the way isn’t native coast to coast, however I even see it offered in catalogs promoting in California, for goodness sake. However there’s so many in all places it appears [laughter]. However there’s so many nice prairie natives for the Jap half or two-thirds of the nation, which is I suppose roughly talking, loads of them are your specialties, that individuals don’t know but. And I assumed it will be enjoyable to simply take a couple of minutes to name out so we don’t run out of time. Take a couple of minutes to name out some that you just want you knew higher, as a result of it’s not simply purple coneflower and Rudbeckia, proper? [Above, hybrid coneflowers combining genetics of Echinacea purpurea and E. pallida.]

Neil: Proper. And persons are oriented towards the showy flowers. And let’s not neglect that the English had been planting purple coneflower within the nineteenth century, after we had been plowing up the prairies. In order that plant’s been well-liked for a very long time, simply not right here. However let’s have a look at another crops that maybe are slightly extra muted or are good companions for a number of the showier crops.

And I actually like loads of the white-flowered crops, and white-flowered crops additionally notably good for bees and parasitoid wasps, which assist to manage pests in your backyard. One in all my favorites is Culver’s root, Veronicastrum virginicum [top of page]. It’s a stately, elegant plant. It’s about 5 toes tall. It has lovely whorled leaves up the stem and these pure white spires of flowers, completely beautiful plant, and it’ll develop in clay. It should develop in moist soil. It doesn’t like dry soil. It should develop in full solar, and it’ll develop partially shade. So it’s a reasonably versatile plant, so long as you give it an excellent backyard soil or perhaps a barely damp soil.

One other nice plant is the rattlesnake grasp, Eryngium yuccifolium [below], beautiful foliage, excellent flowers, which can bloom for a reasonably prolonged time frame. Only a actually attention-grabbing, odd-looking plant, however it has actual character, and it blooms concurrently prairie blazingstar, Liatris pycnostachya. And you’ve got this lavender-white, fantastic pastel mixture.

That is the place the whites are so fantastic, and it’s attention-grabbing. Folks consider prairies, oh, it’s all filled with yellow flowers, however truly there’s plenty of completely different colours. White is the second most typical colour of prairie flowers.

Margaret: I didn’t know that.

Neil: Yeah, it’s wonderful. And so rattlesnake grasp is also pollinated nearly solely by wasps, together with parasitic wasps. And I had a shopper who had horrible issues with tomato hornworm in his vegetable backyard. He planted a 1,000-square-foot prairie from us with a quarter-pound of prairie combine. And after the rattlesnake grasp began blooming, he mentioned, “I had no extra issues with tomato hornworms.”

And there’s a parasitic wasp that assaults the tomato hornworm by laying eggs on its again, which then burrow into the caterpillar, the caterpillar stage, and principally eats it from the within out and emerges like “Alien.” So the place do you assume they obtained that concept for the film? From nature. So he says, “My prairie is my pesticide.” And so loads of natural gardeners will use these crops to draw parasitic wasps to maintain, hopefully, in lots of instances, to maintain their pests down.

Margaret: And everyone knows… That’s one instance, and never simply with parasitic wasps, however the extra variety, the extra layers of the meals chain are being supported, the extra assist there may be at each stage for any chance.

Neil: Oh, yeah. So true.

Margaret: Yeah. Meals and interventions each can be found.

Neil: So for those who plant a prairie combine with 20, 25, 30 species, you promote them, get one hundred pc. Mom nature’s fairly tough. However I imply, for those who get 70, 80 % of that and also you get a large variety of flowers, you’re not simply feeding bugs, you’re additionally feeding birds as a result of they eat the bugs, and many butterflies come. And naturally the bees, the wasps and everyone.

And persons are so fearful of wasps, however most wasps, they don’t hassle you. The one wasps you actually have to fret about are yellow jackets. These are the one ones that can assault you in case you are not bothering them. Hornets gained’t hassle you. Mud daubers gained’t hassle you, cicada killers gained’t hassle you until you hassle them. However the yellow jacket, they’d simply as quickly sting as have a look at you. However they typically don’t come to the prairie as a result of they eat doughnuts and hamburgers and soda cans.

Margaret: They go to the mall [laughter].

Neil: They go to the picnic.

Margaret: They go to the mall.

Neil: That’s the place they go, they’re not coming to your prairie. So price, one other good selection are the mountain mints, genus Pycnanthemum. These are simply pollinator havens, and we couldn’t give these away 20 years in the past. All of the sudden, they’re tremendous well-liked due to the curiosity in pollinators. And so Pycnanthemum is within the mint household, and it’s wonderful at what number of completely different species it attracts.

Margaret: And there’s a number of completely different mountain mints, I believe. I don’t know what number of you carry.

Neil: There’s heaps. Pycnanthemum virginianum, Pycnanthemum tenuifolium, Pycnanthemum muticum [above]. All of those are actually good selections for attracting pollinators, they usually’re fairly adaptable species.

Margaret: One of many issues that individuals ask me about lots, and I believe we talked about possibly one or two selections within the Occasions story, individuals need issues which can be low to the bottom, like groundcover-ish issues, as a result of that was what, after all, as gardeners, we had been all hooked on groundcovers, and there’s not as many selections possibly, however there are some. I believe Antennaria, pussytoes is that one [below]?

Neil: That’s an ideal plant for a dry, sandy soil. You probably have a patio with sand in between the stones, it’ll develop in there. It stays actually low. It likes at the least a half a day of solar, however it stays very low. It has lovely silvery leaves.

And it truly is dioecious: It has separate female and male crops. It’s laborious to inform the distinction until you rise up shut and private. Nevertheless it sends up these little flower stalks about 4 inches tall and these lovely whitish-green leaves, they usually particularly have these little white hairs to mirror solar as a result of they develop in very dry environments, the place it’s straightforward to get overheated.

So it’ll develop in super-, super-difficult websites like sandy hillsides and locations like that, or alongside sidewalks, however it doesn’t like clay. So that you wish to have a very good-draining soil. However when you’ve gotten these spots which can be actual scorching spots, like up in opposition to the south facet of a home that get simply burned up, this can be a nice low-growing plant. And there’s another actually fantastic dry-tolerant prairie crops that attain taller heights as effectively for these sorts of troublesome conditions.

Margaret: The final one I wish to ask you about is there’s a petunia, however it’s not a petunia. It’s a Ruellia, I believe.

Neil: Yeah.

Margaret: Yeah. Is it a prairie petunia? Is that what it’s referred to as? What’s its widespread title?

Neil: Prairie petunia, wild petunia, Ruellia humilis [above].

Margaret: Wild petunia, O.Ok.

Neil: Humilis: low-growing, humble, low-growing. It is a actually lovely plant with only a violet flower. And it has a single faucet root, after which it simply spreads out. It sends out these branches alongside the floor of the soil. It doesn’t get greater than a pair toes tall, so it’s one other actually good groundcover-ish plant. It doesn’t creep and type a floor cowl just like the pussytoes, the place it truly creeps by rhizomes or the wild strawberry [Fragaria virginiana] is one other good one, which creeps by rhizomes and can develop in very troublesome soils, too, very dry soils. And the Ruellia can be tolerant of scorching, dry circumstances. So these are actually good selections if you would like some low-growing crops, particularly in powerful, scorching conditions.

Margaret: Effectively, I’ll embrace some hyperlinks to a few of the tutorial stuff in your web site, as a result of as you mentioned firstly, training’s been a very necessary a part of working with a product that individuals didn’t actually, and nonetheless don’t totally, learn about, and are simply studying about. I all the time study lots from you, Neil, even once I’m not at your own home and also you’re not setting your entrance garden on hearth to terrify me [laughter].

Neil: Effectively, it’s been some time. Margaret. Subsequent spring it is best to come, and we’ll do an anniversary prairie hearth.

Margaret: O.Ok. Extra trauma [laughter]. Effectively, thanks a lot. Thanks for making time at present.

Neil: It’s my pleasure, Margaret.

Margaret: Pull some extra invasives, I’m going to go do the identical. O.Ok.

Neil: All proper. It’s been fantastic. Thanks a lot.

(All images from Prairie Nursery, used with permission.)

enter to win the prairie crops information

I’LL BUY A COPY of “The Gardener’s Information to Prairie Crops,” by Neil Diboll and Hilary Cox, for one fortunate reader. All you need to do to enter is reply this query within the feedback field beneath:

Have you ever added any native crops to your panorama lately? Inform us (and inform us the place you backyard).

No reply, or feeling shy? Simply say one thing like “rely me in” and I’ll, however a reply is even higher. I’ll choose a random winner after entries shut at midnight Tuesday, June 11, 2024. Good luck to all.

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MY WEEKLY public-radio present, rated a “top-5 backyard podcast” by “The Guardian” newspaper within the UK, started its fifteenth 12 months in March 2024. It’s produced at Robin Hood Radio, the smallest NPR station within the nation. Hear domestically within the Hudson Valley (NY)-Berkshires (MA)-Litchfield Hills (CT) Mondays at 8:30 AM Jap, rerun at 8:30 Saturdays. Or play the June 3, 2024 present utilizing the participant close to the highest of this transcript. You possibly can subscribe to all future editions on iTunes/Apple Podcasts or Spotify (and browse my archive of podcasts right here).

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